Want to start a business? Just Do It!
Making the decision to start a business can be daunting. You might be considering leaving a secure job to start a venture or perhaps you’ve been made redundant and have become so sick of looking for a job, that you’re now considering taking matters into your own hands and making some money for yourself. There are no two ways about it, if you’ve never worked for yourself or run your own business in the past, then it might seem like an impossible task. In an employed role most people are trained to be proficient in one small area of business operation. Some are good at sales, others administration and still others marketing. Not many people start out in business possessing all the skills required to succeed from day one; they often have a big learning curve ahead of them. The irony is that unless we’re willing to make that first move and actually start a business – To Just Do It! – Then that learning curve will never have the chance to take shape and you’ll never know just what you are capable of.
Just Get Started
I remember when I was just 15, my mother returned home from a day out with the family bringing back with her a few gifts. If you read this blog regularly you’ll know that I like my proverbs and sayings, that has a lot to do with my mother and gifts like the one she brought home that day. She had picked up a couple of fridge magnets on a craft stall with amusing quotations on the front. My mother’s magnet read something like ‘I came into this world with nothing and I’ve still got most of it’; my sisters had something to do with her love of chocolate, and mine? Well mine read ‘I’d be unstoppable if I could just get started’. As much as those magnets were just a bit of fun, they did highlight our own personality traits. My mother was frugal, my sister was a chocaholic and I had tendency to be indecisive and procrastinate. Often times I would weigh up the possible outcomes of every decision so much, that it caused me not to make a decision at all. Well unbeknown to my mum, she did me a huge favour that day. Being forced to look at that magnet every single day made me determined to change my ways and actually do something with my life, to make decisions!
As we’ve already mentioned, not many people start out in business with all the necessary skills to succeed, they often have to learn as they go. It’s also true that not many business people start out running huge successful companies, that comes in time.
Think about people like Sir Richard Branson, founder and owner of The Virgin Group. In January of 1968 – after a couple of failed attempts at selling trees and birds which he mentions in his autobiography – Sir Richard Branson launched his first successful business, a magazine named student. From there he went on to sell music records by mail order and this eventually led to the launch of his own record label. Nowadays he’s one of the most successful businessmen in the world, having launched businesses ranging from telecommunications to airlines. Do you think Sir Richard Branson ever thought that one day he might own his own airline? Possibly, but it’s highly unlikely that he started out with an in depth knowledge of all the business sectors in which he has operated. Regardless of his lack of knowledge of an industry though, he was willing to give it a go. He just did it and the rest came with time.
Sir Alan Sugar is another good example. Sir Alan didn’t start out in business running large multi-national corporations; he actually started by selling car aerials and electrical goods out of the back of a van he had bought for £50. He later went on to found Amstrad and run a football club.
As much as I don’t want to drag the positive tone of this article down, it’s important to be realistic and say that for all these success stories there are also a large number of business failures, so if you don’t end up running your own airline, please don’t sue me. The point is that you’ll never know just what you’re capable of unless you’re willing to try, to just do it. (I hope Nike don’t sue me either!)
Don’t let inexperience deter you; you’ll never gain in experience unless you give yourself the opportunity. No one ever starts out as a successful businessman, they start out with an idea, a mission and they work hard to make that mission a success. Some will succeed; others will fail but at least they won’t have regrets over never taking the first step.